I've recently taken to reading articles that stress the dangers of soy, and i was wondering what the general consensus is in the vegetarian & vegan community about the potential dangers of a food that essentially constitutes a staple in our diet. I've been a vegetarian for almost 5 years, and I never hesitated about ingesting soy before!
I'm confused, worried, and a bit stressed to be perfectly honest. The meat eating media cannot get enough of spotlighting the benefits of tofu, soy milk, etc., - and until my eye opening literary adventure, I had never hesitated about the potential adverse effects of the "health" products I've been so avidly consuming.
General feelings? Comments? I'm not quite sure how to handle my conflicting feelings - on one hand i know adequate protein intake is incredibly important, but if it comes at the risk of flooding my body with hormones I'm not sure the benefits truly outweigh the risks!?
A couple of the troublesome gems:
I had breast cancer (stage zero) that gave me a scare and a scar. My Oncologist and my surgeon both cautioned me to go easy on the soy because of the phytoestrogens. So I began reading because I don't want to lose my soy. Seems like there are phytoestrogens in lots of different plant products, many of them including soy being a stapel in those countries like Japan that have lower incidences of lots of things from cancer to stroke/heart attack because of a diet high in fiber, vegetables and fish.
After reading this and that, I decided in my own mind that my doctors probably listen too much to the meat lobby and I eat my soy pretty much as I like, when I like. I have replaced my soy milk with rice milk but only because I like the texture of rice milk better.
BTW...3 years cancer free and counting.
I don't consider soy to be a staple in my diet. I eat tofu once or twice a month, maybe. I don't drink soy milk at all, although I occasionally cook with it. Both are really processed foods and I try to stay away from processed foods as much as I can. When I do buy it, I make sure to get organic.
I was diagnosed two months ago with exceptionally high cholesterol and my doctor (I live in Spain) sent me away with a prescription for statins and an instruction to buy and take twice a day a soya suplement,plus to buy and drink soya milk daily. So now I drink 250 ml of soya milk a day and 2 capsules of soya capsules morning and evening.
I don't buy this whole Soya's bad for you business, especially when you consider the health credentials of a country like Japan vs those of the US or UK.
There is a difference in the type of soy eaten in many asian countries vs what is eaten in the west (fermented vs non-fermented soy I believe).
From Wikipedia----Fermented soy products are believed to be beneficial to health generally, and have been in use in Asia for hundreds of years, while unfermented soy products have only been popular since the late 20th century.
Unfermented soy is found in most soy-based products on the market today. These products include: soy milk, tofu, soy baby formula, soy ice cream, soy cheese, dried soybeans, soy flour, soy-based meat alternatives like veggie burgers or veggie sausages and more.
However, there are some forms of fermented tofu that will not fit into this category.
on the list I posted I'm only familiar with miso, tempeh and tamari...anybody use or know how to use the other fermented products on the list?
Unfortunately I am only familiar with the same ones you are. I have always made sure to buy Organic tofu instead of GMO, but now I think I will make an effort to use tempeh instead (I have always used tempeh, too, but I tend to use tofu more). However I only use these products once or twice a month.
I love miso soup!
hmm - super interesting! I actually didn't know there was a verifiable difference between soy served here vs. in its original environment. I'm definitely going to be on the look out for fermented variety.
Some of the unfermented stuff is so incredibly high in sodium that it's almost not worth the protein benefits.
@adolphs: mmm I'd take a cup of miso any day!